In recent years, there has been much research and many articles written about Millennials and their role in the workforce. Back in 2016, Millennials became the largest generation in the labor force. Projections show that they will represent 75% of the workforce by 2025.
Who is a Millennial? The Pew Research Center says that people born between 1981 and 1996 are in the Millennial generation. A Pepperdine University study says there are 79.8 million Millennials in the United States. They are the most diverse generation and have more college degrees than any previous generation.
Millennials have different values, wants, and needs than other generational groups. And bosses are the number one reason Millennials leave their jobs. So how can you best manage these employees and engage them to be positive contributors?
1. Make teamwork a way of life
Millennials have grown up surrounded by group projects and team activities. While working as a team can have its drawbacks (for instance, if one person doesn't pull their weight), the reality is that more heads are better than one. Structuring your office so that each person's defined role supports the others allows Millennials to capitalize on their experiences. Better yet, encourage collaboration between teams or departments that don't often work together.
2. Use their technological expertise
The Internet has been a part of Millennials' lives since at least high school (for the older end of the range) if not their whole lives (for the younger end). In fact, 53% of Millennials say they would rather lose their sense of smell than their digital devices! Their inherent skill with technology can only be a benefit to your company.
Beyond tech savvy, Millennials are also well connected in the digital world. Half of Millennials on social media have more than 300 Facebook friends. This is huge exposure for your company, so make sure you give them something positive to talk about!
3. Embrace diversity and inclusion
Millennials are the most diverse generation yet, so it's no surprise that they value diversity and inclusion. As this generation grows and advances in their careers, they will undoubtedly prioritize building a diverse leadership team. Focus not only on fostering a diverse staff but also seeking out diverse clients.
4. Allow flexible work schedules and environments
A study by Qualtrics found that while older generations value things like fixed work schedules and dress codes, Millennials are more focused on end results. Pair this with the tech savvy that this generation is known for, and you get employees who are focused on doing great work and capable of performing outside the traditional office setting.
While 74% of Millennials want flexible work schedules, 1 in 3 millennials go so far as to say that work mobility is even more important than salary. Easing up on rigid expectations of where and how employees get their work done will attract and retain Millennial employees. Just be sure to set clear boundaries and make expectations clear from the beginning.
5. Get rid of bureaucracy
Millennials believe that management's antiquated attitudes toward operational procedures hinder growth. Create a spirit of innovation and risk-taking by establishing an environment where new ideas are encouraged and discussed. Make sure all employees feel that they have a voice and a chance to make their ideas heard.
6. Provide opportunities for advancement
Millennials don't want to wait three years for a promotion. They prioritize career growth and look for employers that have a clear career trajectory. By creating more stepping stones along the path to a promotion, management will bolster the employee's confidence. Providing frequent recognition in addition to performance reviews fulfills their need for real-time feedback.